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The European Union has 28 member states, 17 of which are on the common currency. Founded through a string of treaties beginning in the 1950s, the EU has developed its own economic, political and legal policies. Taken as a whole, the EU is the world's largest economy.

Family Feud: The Tortured Relationship between Schäuble and Varoufakis

Family Feud: The Tortured Relationship between Schäuble and Varoufakis

SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 27, 2015

Athens relented in the end. But prior to the compromise deal allowing for an extension of Greece's bailout program, Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis and his German counterpart Schäuble engaged in a bitter battle for supremacy. By Nikolaus Blome, Christian Reiermann and Alexander Smoltczyk more... Comment ]

The Grexit Dilemma: What Would Happen if Greece Leaves the Euro Zone?

The Grexit Dilemma: What Would Happen if Greece Leaves the Euro Zone?

SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 20, 2015

Banks across Europe, including the European Central Bank, are preparing for the possibility of Greece leaving the euro zone. With Athens and Brussels still at odds, such an eventuality seems more realistic than ever. But how disruptive would a Grexit really be? By SPIEGEL Staff more... Comment ]

'Guantanamo of the East': Ukraine Locks Up Refugees at EU's Behest

'Guantanamo of the East': Ukraine Locks Up Refugees at EU's Behest

SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 17, 2015

Brussels is doing all it can to prevent refugees from reaching Fortress Europe, with initiatives like funding the construction of internment centers in Ukraine. Asylum seekers who have spent time there report miserable conditions and abuse. By Maximilian Popp more... Comment ]

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis: 'Austerity Has Done Nothing to Solve Greece's Problems'

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis: 'Austerity Has Done Nothing to Solve Greece's Problems'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 16, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Giannis Varoufakis has had little luck convincing his EU counterparts that Athens needs a debt cut. He speaks with SPIEGEL about why austerity has failed, how aid conditions are like waterboarding and where the bailout money went. Interview by Thomas Hüetlin and Alexander Neubacher more... Comment ]

Euro Poker: Greece and EU at Loggerheads Ahead of Monday Meeting

Euro Poker: Greece and EU at Loggerheads Ahead of Monday Meeting

SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 16, 2015

Greece is insisting on the relaxation of conditions relating to emergency aid, but the euro zone no longer fears the consequences of a Grexit. Both sides are digging in ahead of Monday's finance minister meeting. By Martin Hesse, Christian Reiermann and Christoph Schult more... Comment ]

Athens vs. Brussels: Greece Inches Closer to Renewal of Debt Crisis

Athens vs. Brussels: Greece Inches Closer to Renewal of Debt Crisis

SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 10, 2015

The new government in Athens is intent on forcing Europe to change its approach to Greek debt -- thus far in vain. A confrontation is brewing, and both sides stand to lose. By Martin Hesse and Christian Reiermann more... Comment ]

Shrinking Merkel Down To Size: Berlin Faces Austerity Challenge in Brussels

Shrinking Merkel Down To Size: Berlin Faces Austerity Challenge in Brussels

SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 10, 2015

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is challenging Angela Merkel in her de facto role as the most powerful leader in Europe. The election of Greece's Alexis Tsipras may help him in his fight against rigid German austerity policies. By Christoph Pauly and Christoph Schult more... Comment ]

Defiance and Charm: A Measured First Week for New Greek Leader

Defiance and Charm: A Measured First Week for New Greek Leader

SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 06, 2015

Syriza's victory in the recent Greek elections set off a wave of concern in Europe. But even as the new prime minister tries to woo other leaders, his left-wing government is already busy getting down to work. Many of its first moves have been the right ones. By Manfred Ertel, Julia Amalia Heyer, Walter Mayr and Juliane von Mittelstaedt more... Comment ]

European Parliament President Schulz: 'Greek Voters Should Be Realistic'

European Parliament President Schulz: 'Greek Voters Should Be Realistic'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 03, 2015

Newly elected Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has promised to free his country from the strict demands of its European creditors. In a SPIEGEL interview, European Parliament President Martin Schulz says there is room for compromise, but warns Athens must tread carefully. Interview by Nikolaus Blome and Christoph Schult more... Comment ]

Opinion: It's Time To Compromise on Greece

Opinion: It's Time To Compromise on Greece

SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 02, 2015

Syriza's victory in Greece makes it clearer than ever that a new approach is needed in Europe. Chancellor Merkel, in particular, must show flexibility in the search for compromise with Greek Prime Minister Tsipras. If they can't agree, Europe is in trouble. By Dirk Kurbjuweit more... Comment ]

Greece's New Economics Minister: 'Europe Doesn't Need To Be Afraid'

Greece's New Economics Minister: 'Europe Doesn't Need To Be Afraid'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 02, 2015

Greece wants to remain in the euro zone, but Athens wishes to renegotiate everything relating to the current austerity regime. SPIEGEL spoke with Economics Minister Giorgios Stathakis about how the new government intends to address that challenge. Interview by Manfred Ertel more... Comment ]